In pursuing a Bible study on verses that mention both truth and falsehood, I have been reminded again of a recent prophetic word, Jeremiah 9:1-9.
Jeremiah is in a situation where many exhortations to seek God again and return to His ways had been ignored; the national disaster, the sacking of Jerusalem was imminent. In all of this, those who were appointed to speak truth were doing the opposite and misleading people, which takes us to the well-known “peace, peace” verse:
Jer. 6:10-14 (excerpt)
10 …the word of the LORD is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it.
13 “For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.
14 They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace is where deception starts to take hold. A move that is really a wrong move or a statement or belief that is really false is… false. It is obvious to all. The danger in deception is that it is much more subtle. It takes hold little bit by little bit. It contains a little truth – just enough to appear plausible.
However, once we start to treat God’s word lightly, we are in danger of not being able to discern what measures up to God’s truth, and what does not. It is like proper banknotes and counterfeits. The counterfeits look real – that’s why they are counterfeits. They take people in, but generally not bank tellers who constantly handle real notes and know what they look like and feel like. They are trained to recognise what isn’t quite right, helped by their constant experience of handling real notes.
Once we get out of the daily routine of being immersed in God’s word, God’s truth, we become susceptible to counterfeit suggestions that the enemy plants in our minds. We think they are our own thoughts because we haven’t checked the origin or whether they match up. At this point we are beginning to make up our own truth, and at the same time beginning to believe it. This is deception.
Word for today
Jeremiah 9:3 and 5-7
3 “They make ready their tongue like a bow, to shoot lies; it is not by truth that they triumph in the land. They go from one sin to another; they do not acknowledge Me,” declares the Lord.
5 …Friend deceives friend, and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongues to lie; they weary themselves with sinning.
6 You live in the midst of deception; in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,” declares the Lord.
7 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says: “See, I will refine and test them, for what else can I do because of the sin of my people?
No one is seeking God’s will at this point. In fact, they may be making excuses as to why there is no need: (v.6) “In their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,” declares the Lord.
We can all get caught in deception. No one realises at the time, that that they are in deception – if they did, it wouldn’t be deception!
Spending time in the word, letting God speak to us through it, and checking things out for ourselves is an important discipline. If we are content to listen to others, and we don’t make sure we get out own measure of the truth – if we’re too lazy to check things out for ourselves – the slide into deception is beckoning.
Satan likes to go for easy targets. Don’t let him!